Well, I couldn’t stay away from Korean fried chicken for very long, could I. This time I’ve got a fun fusion recipe for you!
Check out this Hawaiian-style Korean Fried Chicken recipe.
It’s got the juicy, crispy KFC we love, tossed in a sweet, Hawaii-inspired chili garlic sauce – destined to be your new favorite sauce.
This one’s love at first bite!
What is Korean Chicken, Hawaii Style?
Hawaiian Korean Fried Chicken is a mashup of two iconic culinary traditions: the Korean method of frying chicken to perfection and the vibrant tropical influence of Hawaiian ingredients.
The is chicken tossed in a dry batter and then double-fried in the classic method to achieve an extra crispy exterior while retaining the super juicy meat inside.
Then, the hot chicken is tossed in a garlicky, sweet-and-spicy sauce inspired by the Hawaiian islands.
What You’ll Need
A short list of simple ingredients is all you’ll need to make the best KFC ever:
- Chicken. We’re using boneless, skinless breasts for this recipe, but you can really use whatever part of the chicken you like. Chicken wings done in the Korean style are very popular. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs would also be delicious.
- Potato starch. This is the key ingredient for extra crispy chicken.
- Garlic powder
For the Hawaiian sauce, here’s what you’ll need:
- Shoyu sauce. This is Japanese-style soy sauce. If you’ve visited Hawaii, you know that there is a huge Japanese influence there. Shoyu is widely used over the usual Chinese soy cause. Shoyu has a milder, slightly sweeter flavor than its Chinese counterpart. If you’re able to find Aloha Shoyu, that’s first prize. If not, other brands of shoyu can be found in most grocery stores.
- Brown sugar
- Chili garlic sauce
- Green onions (scallions)
- Sesame seeds
How to Make This Korean Chicken Hawaii Recipe
Make the chicken
To make this Hawaiian chicken dish, the first thing we’ll do is get the chicken into the dry batter and refrigerate it.
Simply toss the chicken pieces a mixture of potato starch, garlic powder and salt. Refrigerate it for at least one hour or even up to overnight. As long as you start with cold chicken, you’re good to go.
Grab a heavy bottomed pan that’s deep enough to accommodate 1 inch of oil. This will mimic the traditional deep frying method. Drop the chicken into the hot oil and let it cook until it’s browned.
The first time you fry the chicken it should take about 8-10 minutes to get it browned. It will still look pale.
The second time you fry takes less time, about 2-3 minutes. It’s the second fry that will yield a super crunchy crust and a golden brown color.
Once your chicken is nice and golden brown, set it to rest on paper towels or a wire rack.
Make the sauce
To make the delicious sauce, just whisk all of the sweet chili garlic sauce ingredients together in a large bowl.
Then, put the hot chicken into the bowl and toss to coat it in the sauce.
How to serve Hawaiian Korean Fried Chicken
Hawaiian Korean Fried Chicken can be enjoyed as an appetizer, main course or game day snack.
To truly embrace the fusion concept, try serving it with a side of traditional Hawaiian mac salad, which gives a really cool creamy contrast to the crispy chicken.
You can also serve it with a medley of tropical fruits like pineapple, mango and papaya or with a crisp green salad.
For a satisfying main dish, serve this Hawaiian chicken over a bowl of white rice.
How to Store this Hawaiian-Style Korean Fried Chicken
Place any leftover chicken in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days. For best results, reheat the chicken in an oven, toaster oven or air fryer.
When you make this Korean Fried Chicken Hawaii Recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more Asian-inspired recipes, try these:
- Spicy Tuna Mayo Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)
- Korean Fried Chicken with Soy Garlic Sauce
- Cold Asian Rice Noodle Salad
For more chicken recipes, try these:
- Chicken Chesapeake Recipe (with Maryland Crab)
- Chicken Cutlet Sandwich Recipe (Italian Style)
- Indian Ginger Chicken & Rice
The Best Hawaiian Style Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 3/4 cup potato starch
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. salt
The Hawaiian Sauce
- 1/2 cup shoyu
- 1/2 cup green onions diced
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
- 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Combine potato starch, garlic powder and salt in a small bowl. Toss the chicken in the dry mixture until it is coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to overnight).
- Heat 3/4" of vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pan. If you have a food thermometer, aim for an oil temperature of 175 degrees. If not, set the burner to medium heat.
- Drop the chicken pieces into the oil and fry until slightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate. Wait 1-2 minutes, then put the chicken back into the oil for an additional 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove onto paper towels again.
- Combine all of the Hawaiian sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Toss the hot chicken in the sauce.